As we have explained in ourearlier blogs, the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the standard for children’s learning, development and care, from birth through to age five. All Early Years providers in England must adhere to this standard.
The focus of today’s blog is staff qualifications, training, support and skills, along with being a Key person.
Staff qualifications, training, support and skills
Providers delivering early years care must ensure that those involved have:
- The appropriate qualifications
- Suitable training
- The right skills
- A clear idea of their role
- An understanding of their responsibilities
Induction training should be carried out with all new staff, covering what is expected of the staff member along with the relevant health and safety measures, from safeguarding and child protection to emergency evacuation.
Ongoing training and professional development
To ensure that the children in their care benefit from a continually improving service that helps them learn and develop, the provider should ensure that staff have access to training and professional development activities.
Staff should be supervised, trained and coached to develop the right culture of support for children and their families. This will help facilitate confidential discussions on issues that might be sensitive. This supervision should also give staff the chance to bring up specific issues around the wellbeing or development of the children in their care, as well as to find solutions to deal with these issues.
Managers of groups should be qualified to Level 3 in a relevant field and should have at least two years’ relevant experience, ideally in an early years setting. Of the other staff, at least half should have a relevant Level 2 qualification, and one staff member should be designated as able to deputise for the manager in their absence.
Childminders and training
Before registering with a childminder agency or with Ofsted, a childminder must complete training that gives them an understanding of the EYFS and how to implement it.
If a childminder hires helpers, they are responsible for overseeing their work and ensuring competency in what they do. More information can be found in the Department for Education’s Early Years Qualifications List.
One or more people holding a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be present where the early years provision is taking place, including on any trips taken by the children.
If a childminder or assistant is expected to spend time as the sole person responsible for children, they must hold a full current PFA certificate. The certificate must be relevant to the age of the children they are looking after and should be renewed every three years. Certificates or lists of qualified staff should be displayed or available for parents to view.
If a new recruit has recently passed their qualifications, they should hold a full PFA or emergency PFA certificate within three months of joining the workforce if the organisation wishes them to be counted in the required ratio of staff to children.
There should also be awareness of the layout of the premises and number of children and adults present to facilitate a speedy response to any emergency situation.
Use of English
Staff should be able to understand and speak English to a level that allows them to keep the children in their care safe. This includes the ability to keep records, liaise with outside agencies, call for help in an emergency and follow directions in areas such as food hygiene or medicine safety.
A key person should be assigned to every child. This person is responsible for:
- Making sure that a child’s care is tailored specifically to meet their needs
- Supporting the child to become comfortable with the service provider’s premises
- Offering ongoing support so that the child has a settled relationship
Building a relationship with the child’s parents